Boston was abuzz yesterday with trade talk. Everyone who likes sports was on the phone calling their best friend, dad or roommate, online scouring ESPN, TrueHoop and Boston Dirt Dogs looking for the latest info, watching ESPN News, or listening to WEEI.
The place was nuts. I felt like Peter Gammons yesterday fielding calls about potential trades.
And at the end of the day? The Celtics officially got Kevin Garnett while the Red Sox missed out on Jermaine Dye then acquired Eric Gagne. Not a bad day, eh?
Now look at this:
The list reads like a preliminary bracket for an ESPN ‘Who’s Now?’ segment. Instead it’s the names of the stars acquired by Boston teams in just the last calendar year. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Couple that with incumbent one-namers Brady, Ortiz, Manny, Schilling, Seymour and Pierce, and Boston has its own Star Market (you can steal that phrase).
Now let’s take a look at what yesterday meant to each Beantown big club.
Apparently trying to channel the 1996-2000 New York Yankees that rolled out John Wettleland, Jeff Nelson, Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Stanton et al to set-up Mariano Rivera, the Sox are trying to win it all with the best bullpen in baseball.
A lead after six innings means a dose of Gagne, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon in some order. Wow. When you have Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin pitching mop-up innings, you know you’re in good shape.
Still, I think the Sox made a big mistake not getting Dye. I even wanted him more than Gagne. Theo Epstein reportedly offered Wily Mo Pena and Craig Hansen for the White Sox right fielder, but apparently Chicago GM Ken Williams wanted Delcarmen. You’re telling me the Sox wouldn’t deal Delcarmen for a much-needed right-handed bat when they already had a deal for Gagne in place?
Curious move considering the acquisition of Gagne makes Manny D expendable and the fact that the offense has been sputtering for the better part of a month, with about zero production from J.D. Horrbs, I mean Drew.
The addition of Dye would have given the Sox the flexibility to sit Drew against all lefties and rest the ailing Ortiz a lot more (I think you’re gonna see him get a lot of days off during the stretch run) without losing any production. A right-handed power hitter who plays good D, Dye could have really helped this club, especially considering that he’s a proven postseason performer (World Series MVP, anyone?). I guess you can’t have it all, but I absolutely would have pulled the trigger on this one.
The Celtics managed to steal the headlines on a day usually dominated by the Fenway club – the Major League Baseball trading deadline. The trade for KG obviously makes the Celtics an instant contender, but it does something else secretly, something maybe even more important: it makes other players want to come here.
Agents were reportedly calling the Celtics yesterday , informing the team that their clients would like to be a part of what’s going on here. Everyone knows the Green are in the market for a veteran point guard and an experienced big man. According to the Boston Herald, the Celtics are looking at Eddie House, Troy Hudson, Brevin Knight and Charlie Bell for the point position, as well as Dikembe Mutombo, P.J. Brown, Michael Ruffin, Calvin Booth and Scott Pollard at center/forward.
I really like Brevin Knight and think he’d be the best fit. I also like Bell, but he’s a restricted free agent, meaning Milwaukee could match any C’s offer. As for the big man, Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge both admitted Mutombo’s their next target. If the Celts can sign both of them using the mid-level exception, we’d have quite a team on our hands.
Mutombo could come off the bench to spell Kendrick Perkins and KG or, if you want to get sexy with it, start alongside Garnett in the basketball version of the twin towers. And whether the point player is Knight, Bell or whoever, their job will be simple: tutor Rajon Rondo and play serious minutes if the kid falters.
The marketing blitz already started for the Celts — already in today’s paper was an ad with Allen, Pierce and KG saying “We’ve got the big ticket. Time to get yours.” With season tickets expected to skyrocket and single-game packages likely to sell out, the C’s are the newest hottest ticket in town.
New England Patriots
Don’t forget the Pats, who went wild this offseason, picking up Moss, Stallworth, Thomas, Wes Welker and re-upping Junior Seau. They’re an instant 99 in Madden. Before the Sox and Celts trades, the Pats were eating up the airwaves with the constant Moss watch as well as the 10-man battle for the top five receiving slots.
Don’t forget this team also has Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Rosevelt Colvin, Lawrence Maroney, Ben Watson and maybe Asante Samuel. Absolutely loaded. I don’t know how they do it. But whatever it is, it seems to have rubbed off on the other teams in the region.
Who? Oh…the hockey team. The B’s did trade for Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez a few weeks ago, but still, sorry guys, you’re becoming less relevant than the New England Revolution.
Now if we could only get Beckham…